Originally appeared on the 405, view archived article here.
Lauren Ruth Ward stands in front of a mirror holding up a shimmering disco ensemble. We’re in the Echo’s green room joined by a few people that play in other bands on tonight’s bill, as well as some peripheral friends. It is the first night of Ward’s January residency and the two-piece suit and jacket on display are brand new—to her; the jacket alone is over fifty years old. “I think this has been folded in plastic since the seventies,” she remarks, gently tugging at creases in the pant legs. “I need a steamer.” Her hands continue to massage the material more and more urgently until she concedes defeat.
Fashion has always been part of Ward’s life. You can see her flaunt her style in the digital halls of Nylon, her Instagram feed, or, of course, onstage. She wishes she could spend more time at her sewing machine like she used to years ago, but she’s gotten too busy to keep up the hobby of late. That could be said of many aspects of her life: she’s finally been able to take on some painting projects since returning from a short tour, and though she no longer works in a salon, she can’t seem to give up styling hair. Needless to say, helming an indie band is no small task.